If you are thinking of following a Mediterranean diet, you are bound to have discovered the many health benefits of this diet. By lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes to help with weight management, mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets around the world, loved by researchers and nutrition professionals.
Fast food, refined sugars, and processed foods are all limited on this diet. Instead, it focuses on incorporating whole foods such as nuts, seafood, quality dairy products, vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains, to support health. heart rate and stabilize blood sugar.
To learn more about the Mediterranean diet, we asked our experts what we should add to our shopping list, what a five-day Mediterranean diet looks like, and their top tips for following it. If your main reason for adopting this diet is weight loss, check out our guide to how to follow a mediterranean diet to lose weightwhich contains all the tips you need to start seeing results.
What to eat on the Mediterranean diet
“One of the main benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it helps support the endothelium, which is the smooth layer inside the heart,” says a clinical nutritionist. suzie sawyer. “Endothelial cells help control blood pressure regulation and, in turn, this equates to a lower risk of stroke.”
If you choose to embark on a Mediterranean diet, you’ll be eating lots of different vegetables, which means you’ll have a wide variety of colors. This, as Sawyer explains, is a surefire way to improve your health.
“Eating a Rainbow Diet provides a wealth of essential nutrients that are vastly lacking in the typical Western diet, especially the energy-boosting B vitamins and magnesium. The Mediterranean diet is also naturally low in refined sugars, which are the main reason for weight gain. The more refined and sugary foods we eat, the more our blood sugar will be deregulated, the greater our insulin response will be, and the more fat will be stored.
Another benefit of this diet is that it’s high in protein, from fish and lean meats like chicken to nuts and dairy.
“People on a Mediterranean diet tend to feel much more energized because many of our known nutritional deficiencies will be filled,” says Sawyer. “Specifically iodine, which is needed for cognition and brain acuity and is found in fish. It’s also high in B vitamins for energy and liver detoxification, and iron, which is necessary for energy, so we will always feel much better following this diet and, in doing so, we can mitigate many of the risk factors associated with the onset of degenerative diseases.
If you are convinced of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and want to try it yourself, then Sawyer and Registered Dietitian Reema Patel have come up with a simple five-day Mediterranean meal plan that you can follow at home.
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan: Breakfast
Day 1 : Poached Egg on Seeded Sourdough Toast – Eggs are one of the best sources of protein and a great start to the day.
Day 2: Berry Buckwheat Pancakes – why not make buckwheat pancakes (which are gluten-free for the sensitive) and load them up with colorful berries, like blueberries, strawberries and cherries – all in season during the winter months. summer.
Day 3: Smashed avocado, sprinkled with chopped walnuts on rye bread – avocados are a great source of healthy fats.
Day 4: Whole Grain Toast with Ricotta and Watermelon – here you get carbs from toast, healthy fats from ricotta and nutrients from watermelon.
Day 5: Spinach omelet with a side of asparagus, mushrooms and olives – a good source of protein, and the spinach, mushrooms and asparagus provide you with extra nutrients.
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan: Lunch
Day 1 : Traditional Greek salad made with cucumber, onions, tomatoes, feta and olives – this salad is packed with healthy fats and vegetables for essential nutrients.
Day 2: Sliced tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh basil – a classic combination, this traditional Mediterranean salad is full of good fats and antioxidant-rich tomatoes.
Day 3: Grilled fresh sardines with a green salad (lettuce, arugula, cucumber and onion), with focaccia bread dipped in olive oil – sardines provide a good source of protein for this dish.
Day 4: Chicken sandwich with arugula or lettuce and hummus – this simple sandwich is perfect if you’re in a hurry.
Day 5: Falafel with Couscous and Green Beans – an easy lunch option, make falafel from a packet rather than using ready-made meals. Fry them in olive oil for a crispy finish.
Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan: Dinner
Day 1 : Baked salmon with lemon and dill, new potatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil and roasted asparagus – full of nutrients and healthy fats, this is one sheet cooking , meaning you won’t have piles of dishes to do.
Day 2: Hearty minestrone soup with baby pasta, kidney beans, white beans, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, canned tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf and paprika – make this ahead and save for lunch the next day.
Day 3: Fresh tuna steak, with mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed kale and basil-roasted tomatoes – the Mediterranean diet is high in fish for protein and healthy fats.
Day 4: Pepper stuffed with ground turkey, cheese and Italian seasoning – great for boosting your protein intake.
Day 5: Portobello Mushroom Pizza and Salad – When cooked with olive oil and garlic, then topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, these Portobello mushrooms make the perfect “fake pizza” option.
Tips for Following the Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
Sticking to a lifestyle change can be difficult. To help you, we’ve put together some expert tips that will make following the Mediterranean diet easier.
- Try to eat mindfully: “With a range of colorful and tasty foods reminiscent of relaxation in sunny climates, the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is a great way to enjoy your food, reduce your stress and improve your health all at the same time” says Caroline Hind, a licensed attorney. nutritionist for Vitaminology (opens in a new tab).
- Increase your vitamin intake during the winter months: “We always have to make sure that nutrient deficiencies don’t cause more serious problems, by taking a high-potency multivitamin and mineral every day,” says Sawyer. “Most of us are not lucky enough to live in the Mediterranean, so we should take some Vitamin D even during the summer, as it is important for our overall health.
- Cooking with olive oil: Olive oil is an important part of the Mediterranean diet and one of the healthiest fats there is. Use it in the kitchen and drizzle it on top of salads to reap its benefits.